A Life Once Lost – Iron Gag


Album

Iron Gag

Label

Ferret

Year

2007

For Fans Of

Lamb Of God – Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster - Down

Summary

Bang that fucking head…

Rating

93 / 100

A Life Once Lost has been
through a few stylistic changes during their career. From their earliest
incarnation as Meshuggah worshipping kids to their brief stop
over in Dillinger Escape Plan territory, ALOL arrived with a bang and their own sound with
the release of 2005’s Hunter. Although Iron Gag isn’t
as much of a drastic change compared to some of the band’s previous
discs it is the most focused and cohesive collection of songs that have
been released under the A Life Once Lost moniker. 

Gone are the days of over the
top guitar theatrics and poly-rhythms, instead the focus is on riffs,
grooves and even a hint of melody… and no, I’m not talking about
polished pop choruses, I’m referring to the dirty hooks that Pantera
made so popular in the nineties. Lamb Of God vocalist Randy
Blythe
provided vocal direction and production on Iron Gag,
but don’t make the mistake of thinking that this record is a cheap
imitation of the Virginian metal mob, as ALOL have crafted their
influences into a refreshingly unique sound. 

Lead track (and Iron Gag’s
first single) “Firewater Joyride” is a shining example of what can
be achieved when a band puts their collective heads and decide to rock
the fuck out. The guitar parts are something you’d expect to hear
in a sleazy bar in the deep south (that’s a good thing by the way)
and Robert Meadows vocals have more rock n roll swagger than
most vocalists can muster in a lifetime.  

“Detest” hits like a brick
to the face, simple as that. The song kicks in all the right places
and every lyric sounds like a battle cry, not to mention that the main
riff will have you reaching for the beer bong within seconds of hearing
it. Throw a dirty guitar solo into the mix and you’ve got a near flawless
tune. The deliberate groove of “The Wanderer” is about as close
as A Life Once Lost have come to penning a ballad, not that it’s
cheesy and melodramatic but the raspy chorus vocals combined with the
brooding intro and dare I say it, catchy guitars make you want to sing
a long. To remind us that they are still capable of kicking our arse, ALOL follow up with “Worship”, one of the most unrelenting tracks
on Iron Gag. To further highlight how far the band’s songwriting
has come they succeed in sounding heavy without having to resort to
any cliché riffing ideas. 

Conclusion

After repeated listens I can
safely say that there isn’t a bad song on Iron Gag, which means
a blow by blow account of each track isn’t possible… otherwise this
review would be four pages long. “All Teeth” and “Meth Mouth”
are both stand out tunes while “Masks” makes the most of the prevalent Lamb Of God influence. “Pigeonholed” breaks the record’s pace
up nicely and “Others Die” uses a punishing groove to propel the
song throughout its three minute duration. In a day and age where a
lot bands run short of ideas and close their albums out with mediocre
songs it’s good to see that ALOL included material as strong
as “Silence” and “Ill Will” to close proceedings. 

If anyone from A Life Once
Lost
reads this review, PLEASE TOUR AUSTRALIA. That is all…

Tracklisting

  1. Firewater Joyride
  2. Detest
  3. The Wanderer
  4. Worship
  5. All Teeth
  6. Meth Mouth
  7. Masks
  8. Pigeonholed
  9. Others Die
  10. Silence
  11. I Will

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